Ice Cream Mix Ingredients

Ice cream has the following composition:

  • greater than 10% milkfat by legal definition, and usually between 10% and as high as 16% fat in some premium ice creams
  • 9 to 12% milk solids-not-fat (MSNF): this component, also known as the serum solids, contains the proteins (caseins and whey proteins) and carbohydrates (lactose) found in milk
  • 12 to 16% sweeteners: usually a combination of sucrose and glucose-based corn syrup sweeteners
  • 0.2 to 0.5% stabilizers and emulsifiers
  • 55% to 64% water which comes from the milk or other ingredients

These percentages are by weight, either in the mix or in the frozen ice cream. Please remember, however, that when frozen, about one half of the volume of ice cream is air (overrun, for definition, see ice cream processing, for calculation, see overrun), so by volume in ice cream, these numbers can be reduced by approximately one-half, depending on the actual air content. However, since air does not contribute weight, we usually talk about the composition of ice cream on a weight basis, bearing in mind this important distinction. All ice cream flavours, with the possible exception of chocolate, are made from a basic white mix.

Formulations can be derived from a number of different starting points. Details and suggested formulas are detailed on the formulations page, but turning the formulation into a recipe depends on the ingredients used to supply the components, and it is then necessary to do a mix calculation to determine the required ingredients based on the formula. Ice milk and light ice creams are very similar to the composition of ice cream but in the case of ice milk in Canada, for example, it must contain between 3% and 5% milkfat by legal definition.

The ingredients to supply the desired components are chosen on the basis of availability, cost, and desired quality. These ingredients will now be examined in more detail.